The Suggestion Box #85: Oni, and Dinos, and Bones, Oh My!

Wondering what to do with your upcoming free time? Good thing we have some suggestions for what you should be watching, playing, reading, listening to, etc.

Lauren’s Book Pick: The Locked Tomb Series – The bad news about my goldfish brain is that whenever a new book is released into a series, it’s more than likely that I’ll have to reread the previous entries. The good news is that when it comes to prepping for the newly released Nona the Ninth, I couldn’t wait to revisit what has easily become one of my favorite book series. Each entry greatly differs from the others as Tamsyn Muir expertly changes her style and voice to fit the material and narrator (something that changes with each book, as the titles suggest): Gideon the Ninth is full of the sarcastic wit and enemies to potential friends/lovers energy I revel in as we discover the necromantic world of bone magic, sword fights, and godlike powers, Harrow the Ninth is an exploration of coping with trauma and soul searching as the scope of the universe expands, and Nona? Well Nona the Ninth is hard to explain as Muir once again drops both the reader and lead character into the deep end and says: “why don’t you two go ahead and figure out this swimming thing together?” Even if Harrow and Nona weren’t exactly what I expected or wanted from the sequels originally as I floundered around trying to figure out which way was up, I ended up loving them both fully for what they are; and my hopes for and anticipation of what is to come has only been spurred on further. Seriously, Alecto the Ninth cannot get here soon enough. Oh, and one last thing: Moira Quirk’s performance for each audiobook further cemented my love of the novels, making them a must for fans of the series.

Ben’s TV Pick: Primal Season 2 – The equally emotional, hardcore, and visually extraordinary adventures of Spear the caveman and Fang the tyrannosaurus continue in the second season of this stellar animated series. Picking up right where season 1 left off, the unlikely pair embark on a journey to an unfamiliar land, where they combat monstrous creatures, make new friends, and encounter terrifyingly powerful enemies, all portrayed through visual storytelling that is just as incredible as ever. In the first episode alone there are multiple scenes with gorgeous hand-drawn backgrounds that had me thinking “that’d be an awesome wallpaper for my laptop,” and the moments of violence continue to build in scale and intensity. The only complaints I could levy against the show are against the one episode that completely veers away from its leading duo, and the finale that feels just a tad rushed. Minor gripes aside, season two of Primal builds on everything that worked (and worked brilliantly) with the first, making it easily one of the highest quality TV shows to air this year, and possibly the legendary Genndy Tartakovksy’s magnum opus.

Ben’s Video Game Pick: Ghost of Tsushima: Legends After replaying (and earning the platinum trophy for) the unrivaled open world gaming experience that is Ghost of Tsushima’s single-player campaign, I found myself equally enamored with its multiplayer mode. Set long before the story of Jin Sakai, Legends lets you team up with fellow “Ghosts” to battle a supernatural menace threatening all of Tsushima. There are four expertly-balanced classes to choose from: the Samurai who charges in headfirst and is capable of enduring tons of punishment while also dishing it out. The Assassin who vanishes in smoke to strike at the perfect time and deliver enormous bursts of damage against their foes. The Hunter who fights from a distance by firing volleys of arrows with pinpoint accuracy. The Ronin uses a bevy of support and healing abilities to ensure his teammates can stay alive in the fight, even when things get dicey. From the ways each class drastically changes how you handle any enemy encounter, to the pacing of its item Ki (level) system, to the sheer depth and quality of content within it, you can tell that Suckerpunch put as much effort into Legends as they did the main game. It’s a nearly immaculate multiplayer experience for a game that had absolutely no need for one, making it yet another awe-inspiring reason to stay in this outstanding Playstation title’s world just that much longer.

So what do you think about these picks? What content did we miss over the past two weeks while we were spending time with these? Be sure to leave a comment below letting us know about everything (both current and simply new to you) you’ve been consuming lately!

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